Residents of the Northwest Territories will receive a test alert via their phones on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 9.

A new emergency alert system is being tried for the first time. Depending on your settings, your phone will either make a sound like a siren or vibrate for eight seconds.

You won’t be charged for the alert as it won’t arrive as a normal text. The message should arrive on your phone at 1:55pm.

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The tests follow an order from Canada’s communications regulator, the CRTC, demanding that wireless providers provide an updated system to warn Canadians of threats like tornadoes, floods, wildfires or terror attacks.

The new system is similar in nature to one that caused chaos in Hawaii four months ago, when an official accidentally told everyone a missile was about to strike.

According to a CRTC official, “safeguards are in place” to stop that happening in Canada.

People in Ontario and Quebec will get the test alert two days before people in the Northwest Territories.

Asked if that would be the case in the event of an actual emergency, the CRTC said probably not.